Disciple of INDYCAR Weblog

June 29, 2011

Iowa Doubleheader for Indy Car-GREAT Idea. But it is NOT ‘Two Ovals.’ It is Two Races on ONE Oval.

Filed under: The Disciple Blogs — Disciple of INDYCAR @ 1:21 pm

Indy Car fans need to put the kibosh on the latest cockamamie management notion. Randy Bernard is all jazzed up (and rightfully so) about possibly having a doubleheader at Iowa Speedway in 2012; one on Saturday night and one on Sunday afternoon…and both races will count in the points. It is an idea that might translate well to other well run small ovals.

In theory that is a great idea. Fan friendly too. There is only ONE aspect that is completely without merit, and that is the notion that ONE venue, Iowa Speedway, should count as TWO ovals in the overall oval vs. non-oval count. Trying to run that sort of jive by fans just reeks of classless obfuscation. When counting ovals and non-ovals, you must count separate VENUES, not multiple races at the same ONE venue.

I understand the most pressure by the road racing-centric team ownership leans heavily toward non-ovals, and many directly associated with the series have vested interests in temporary circuits. Think about the fans. Fans want BALANCE and, if anything, more of an oval centricity. Even if that seems off base to any defensive knee-jerkers it does not change the fact that they are attempting to count ONE venue as TWO ovals. No. It’s not going to work. Fans are smarter than that. Subterfuge may work in politics, but not here. Any ONE venue is ONE venue, regardless of how many races are held there.



  1. You mean like the “two” races they’ve had in Texas?

    Comment by redcar — June 29, 2011 @ 1:48 pm | Reply

  2. Agreed. Getting races at Pocono, Memphis, Charlotte, Nashville, WDW, and the ISC track Chicagoland should be on the plate. Not all of these venues can be landed, but looking into all of them and ones I missed could produce a couple more ovals.

    The Iowa race was so good, we want more, but in a different place.

    Comment by Mike Miller — June 29, 2011 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

  3. “Think about the fans. Fans want BALANCE and, if anything, more of an oval centricity.”

    Have you got any facts to support that last bit or are you just making it up? Die-hard IRL fans such as yourself who’ve followed the League since ’96 want only ovals; Ex-CART/Champ Car fans want to see a split (but with an emphasis on street/road) but what does the greater public want?; i.e. the millions of people out there who were neither IRL or CART fans but supported the Series pre-Split and could maybe be enticed to suppport it again?

    You can’t simply throw out the street circuits and road courses without understanding what it is that those potential fans want to see and it’s them that have to be reached if this Series is ever going to be grown back up to the levels that it once enjoyed (and where all sincere open-wheel fans would like to see it in the near future.)

    My personal feeling is this: what attracted me to IndyCar in 1993 (apart from the hype of Mansell moving over) was the sheer diversity: street circuits, road courses, ovals and speedways. It was that unique mix of various racing disciplines that set the PPG IndyCar Series apart from F1 and made it interesting.

    Editor’s Note: I based my hypothesis on the history of American open wheel racing….something I have actively followed since 1959. I enjoy diversity as well, but no major road racing series has ever survived long term in North America. There are three types of ovals….short ones, medium sized ones, and superspeedways. Ovals should make up a minimum of 50% and preferably 65%. the rest should be non-ovals with a maximum of two or three street circuits.

    Comment by Andrew — June 29, 2011 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

  4. I assumed Indycar runs street races because that’s where the money dictates right now. The debate over twisties vs. ovals is really irrevelant. They will race wherever it is economically advantageous to race.

    Right now it seems like St. Pete, Barber, Long Beach, Brazil, Indy and Iowa are on the way up. And Milwaukee and Texas are on on the way down. I’ll be interested to see the fan turnout and tv ratings for the rest of the year–especially New Hampshire, Baltimore and Vegas.

    Comment by redcar — June 29, 2011 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

  5. I attended Saint Pete where the stands were mostly full and I will be attending New Hampshire, Baltimore and Vegas at the end of the year and I expect that Loudon will be at 66% capacity, Baltimore will be full since it’s a new event (but will it return next year????) and Vegas will be half full…more than the numbers Champ Car drew in 04 but nowhere near the crowd NASCAR enjoys…after attending full events, whether ovals, road courses or street circuits, back in the pre-split days, when there were full fields of new cars with multiple engines, chassis and tires, I have grown accustomed to the miniscule crowds that Indy Car draws especially at the ovals…sorry, Defender, but casual fans have little interest in traveling to ovals mostly located on the fringes of cities…I wish it was different and perhaps the new chassis and engine introductions next year and the steady decline of NASCAR will boost our series and increase its profile.

    Comment by Neil Rubin — June 29, 2011 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

  6. The key is the number of oval races, is it not? One year (maybe more than one) USAC ran three times at Milwaukee rather than the then-standard two. Nobody complained.

    Comment by A fan — June 30, 2011 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

  7. I don’t like the idea of awarding full points for both races. Awarding 1/2 points as in Texas is ok. But don’t over-due with more than one dual races.

    Also, I agree with Franchitti’s compaints about the blind draw for the second race unless the fans over-whelmingly support. However, basing the 2nd race grid on results of the first race has flaws too. What happens if Power is first out in race 1 and Dario wins?

    Comment by indymoon — July 8, 2011 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

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